Faith grows in community

Good morning everyone,
 
Our theme for this month: “Personal Responsibility”
 
Our Bible verse for today: “And let us watch out for one another to provoke love and good works, not neglecting to gather together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other; and all the more as you see the day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25 (CSB)
 
Our thought for today: “Faith grows in community”
 
This morning I want to continue our thinking from recent days regarding the theme of taking personal responsibility for our spiritual health and growth. As we learned yesterday, an important part of that is faithful attendance and full participation in the life of your church.
 
The fact is that faith grows in community. God never intended for any of us to be “Lone Ranger Christians”. Although our private personal faith practices are essential and even crucial, our faith is to be lived-out in the midst of, and along with, our faith community. That’s our church family.
 
We need to be together. That’s the point of Hebrews 10:24-25 (above). Not only does your presence and participation in the gatherings of your church benefit you, but your presence benefits others as well. That’s what the writer meant when he wrote about provoking love and good works and encouraging one another. God uses us to bless, encourage, and motivate each other.
 
When you join with your church family in Bible study, worship, fellowship, and ministry activities, you will hear from God and you will be blessed in various ways. That insight and those blessings will come to you from God, but He will deliver them to you through other people. It will come to you through the teaching, or the music, or the sermon, or from kind and encouraging words from other church members. And likewise, God will use your words and your actions to do the same for them.
 
There’s a spiritual dynamic at work in the gatherings of the faithful that simply isn’t present during our times alone with God. Often a person’s greatest encounter with God will come as a result of something that occurs in the group setting. But the more people who are missing, the more that group dynamic is diminished. There’s a good reason the writer in Hebrews urged us not to miss the gatherings of our church family. You need to be there for yourself, and others need you to be there for them. And as was noted in yesterday’s devotional, this is a matter of personal responsibility for each of us.
 
But if you aren’t there, then you’re not a part of that. If you aren’t there, then you miss the blessings for yourself, but also, God can’t use you to bless and encourage others. This Sunday will someone miss a blessing because you weren’t there to deliver it?
 
I encourage you to be present as often as you can when your church family is gathered. You need to be there for yourself, and you need to be there for the sake of others.
 
God bless,
Pastor Jim
Copyright © 2022 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.

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